Toll in Benghazi clashes stands at 275

 At least 275 people, including civilians and military personnel, have died since the Oct 15 start of an offensive led by retired General Khalifa Hafter against the Islamist militias that control much of Benghazi, Libya`s second largest city.

IANS| Updated: Nov 12, 2014, 10:01 AM IST

Tripoli: At least 275 people, including civilians and military personnel, have died since the Oct 15 start of an offensive led by retired General Khalifa Hafter against the Islamist militias that control much of Benghazi, Libya`s second largest city.

According to a medical source, an undetermined number of people have also been wounded in the ongoing clashes, including a senior leader of the Majlis al Shura (Shura Council) Islamist militia.

Several families in the city`s Sidi Hussein district were forced to abandon their homes after rockets hit the neighbourhood, damaging residential buildings and infrastructure.

On Monday, Hafter`s forces launched a series of airstrikes on the al-Sabri neighbourhood.

Elsewhere in the country, the city of Kikla, 120 km south of Libya`s capital Tripoli, has partially returned to calm after 125 people died in clashes between rival militias.

A source from the Fajr Libya (Libyan Dawn) Islamist militia claimed in remarks to Efe news agency that the militia controls the entrance to Kikla, although fighting there Monday claimed the lives of seven of its militants.

Since the collapse of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libyan transitional authorities have been unable to form an army and assert their authority over the warring militias that have plunged the country into chaos.